Major merger in camping industry: Scandinavia’s two largest chains become one
Sweden’s and Scandinavia’s two largest camping chains – First Camp and Svenska Campingpärlor – are merging. The new combined chain comprises a total of 55 destinations in Scandinavia and will generate a turnover of almost SEK 700 million in a normal year.
The camping industry is facing a bright future thanks to the staycation trend, which has been accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, and strong sales of caravans and motorhomes. The revenue generated by First Camp’s Swedish destinations during both the Easter and Midsummer weekends in 2021 was the highest ever.
Now begins the next chapter in the industry’s development with the merger of First Camp and Svenska Campingpärlor, with 46 and nine destinations respectively. Following an extraordinary general meeting of the shareholders of Grönklittsgruppen AB (publ) at which it was resolved to divest the wholly owned subsidiary Svenska Campingpärlor AB, the United Camping Group, which includes First Camp, is now acquiring Svenska Campingpärlor. The transaction values Svenska Campingpärlor AB at SEK 320 million (Enterprise Value).
“We look forward to welcoming Svenska Campingpärlor and all its employees to the First Camp family. This merger enables us to create even better experiences for all our guests. In the next few years we plan to invest at least SEK 100 million in improvements to Svenska Campingpärlor’s nine destinations, and all guests will be able to earn points through our popular First Camp Club bonus programme,” says Johan Söör, CEO of First Camp and the United Camping Group.
Svenska Campingpärlor AB consists of nine destinations, including five-star Orsa Camping and Ansia Resort in Lycksele, Mora Parken (where the finishing stretch of the Vasaloppet ski race runs straight through the campsite) and Sunne Camping & Sommarland. The company had a turnover of approximately SEK 143 million in the last financial year (2019/20).
“First Camp has undergone a fantastic journey to date and has grown from 14 destinations in 2017 to now 55 destinations in Sweden and Denmark. This merger represents yet another milestone, and we expect to see continued consolidation in the market as digitalisation imposes increasing demands on companies to have the right resources and competence,” says Karl Svozilik, Chairman of the United Camping Group and partner at Norvestor Advisory, which represents the company’s largest shareholder Norvestor VII.
Signing and closing of the transaction takes place on 16 July. Svenska Campingpärlor will operate independently as a subsidiary within the United Camping Group during the next few months, after which it will be operationally integrated with First Camp. Svenska Campingpärlor AB is outside the bond structure in First Camp Group AB.
For further information, please contact:
CEO, First Camp/United Camping group
Chairman, United Camping group